EMERGENCIES AND OUT OF OFFICE HOURS
We understand that not all maintenance happens in office hours and sometimes you may need to take action to protect the property and its contents from further damage. This is why we at Little Mansions have a voicemail service that can be used for emergencies and which will alert a member of staff out of office hours to the situation. We will only respond to genuine emergencies. We do ask that in the event of a serious emergency that requires police, fire or rescue you do not contact us but call the emergency services in addition to reporting to us at your earliest convenience. We do not guarantee that we will be able to arrange someone to deal with your emergency at the property but we will do all we can to assist you and provide guidance on what to do. We ask that you are patient with us and accept that we have limited resources during anti-social hours. In some circumstances, we may advise that there is no alternative but to wait until a contractor is available the following weekday.
The purpose of the following information is to help you with urgent and non-urgent maintenance, avoid unnecessary emergency call outs and manage your own expectations of the services we have available. Please note that should the landlord have their own homecare cover you should only be contacting that service to deal with the relating issue.
It is important to consider what an emergency is that requires out of hours assistance –
reporting non-urgent maintenance to the out of hours number is not our accepted procedure
Please report any maintenance that is routine to Fixflo.
IS IT AN EMERGENCY?
Should your call be regarding a genuine life-threatening emergency that requires the emergency services please do not hesitate in calling 999.
An emergency is… something that has occurred unexpectedly and requires urgent attention because it may lead to significant damage to the property if not attended to promptly, may endanger the occupant’s life, cause unreasonable discomfort or renders the property uninhabitable, unsafe or insecure.
We have provided a breakdown of potential events overleaf to help you with managing circumstances until the offices are open between 9am–5pm Mon-Fri and 10am-1pm Saturday.
|ISSUE||IS IT AN EMERGENCY?||WHAT ACTION IS REQUIRED?|
|BLOCKED EXTERNAL DRAINS OR TOILET||Yes, if required||Should the drains be overflowing and could potentially cause damage to the premises or land this is considered an emergency.|
|BLOCKED SINK/BATH||No||Please report this using Fixflo and we will attend to it as soon as possible.|
|TOILET NOT FLUSHING OR BLOCKED||No||Especially if you have alternative facilities and there is no flooding please report through Fixflo and we will attend to this as soon as possible.|
|BREAK IN||Yes||Please report the break in to the police notifying our office of the incident supplying us with a crime number at the earliest convenience. The police will temporarily secure the property for you and remedial works will then be arranged following consultation with the landlord and their insurance.|
|BURST PIPES||Yes||Turn off the water at the stop valve as quickly as possible. If electric has been affected turn off at the fuse box. Limiting the water damage is important in the early stages so attempts should be made to remove excess water by whatever means are possible.|
|DOORS AND LOCKS||No||Unless there is a security risk to you at the property then please report through Fixflo.|
|FIRE||Yes||Ring 999, contact our out of hours number to report the situation to us and report the damage.|
|GAS LEAK||Yes||Open the windows, turn off the gas supply at the mains valve (usually located with the meter). Do not turn on lights whilst there is a smell of gas in the property. Remain outside the property until safe to return.|
Contact CADENT on 0800 111 999
|EXTERNAL GUTTERING/ROOF||No||Unless causing risk or injury or could compromise the fabric of the building then please report to Fixflo|
|FENCING DOWN||No||Please report using Fixflo|
|NO HEATING||Yes||We would consider this an emergency in very low temperatures where no other form of heating is available and there is a vulnerable person residing at the property. If the landlord has a homecare agreement please contact them direct and report to us via Fixflo or call our emergency number. We cannot guarantee that an engineer will be able to attend and the issue may need to wait until morning.|
|NO HOT WATER||No||Please report to us using Fixflo and we will attend to it as a matter of urgency the following day.|
|EXTERNAL WASTE PIPE LEAKING||No||Please report to us using Fixflo|
|LOST KEYS||No||Should you have lost the key to the property you will need to arrange a locksmith and will be obliged to provide a new key to the office following a lock change otherwise it will be considered a breach of contract. Please note that should it be reasonable for us to provide a spare key to you we may be able to do so during office hours, if locks are changed on your behalf a charge will be made to the tenant.|
|NO POWER||No||At night this is not considered an urgent matter unless there is a risk of life or injury or particularly vulnerable people live at the property. Please report to us using Fixflo and we will attend to this as a matter of urgency the following day.|
|NO WATER||No||At night this is not considered an urgent matter unless there is a risk of life or injury or particularly vulnerable people live at the property. Please report to us using Fixflo and we will attend to this as a matter of urgency the following day.|
|ALARM||No||Unless the landlord has a separate 24 hours cover for|
alarm systems we will be unable to attend to this issue overnight. Please report to us using Fixflo and we will attend to this as a matter of urgency the following day. Please refer to the manual as this may assist you in troubleshooting the issue.
|GAS LEAK||CADENT||0800 111 999|
|MAINS WATER LEAK OR PUBLIC DRAINS||SEVERN TRENT WATER||0800 783 4444|
DEALING WITH COMMON PROBLEMS IN A PROPERTY;
Sometimes issues can be resolved at home without a contractor so we thought we would review here some common issues we experience and our guidance on how to fix them without assistance.
Mould and damp caused by condensation
Usually common around winter – contributing factors include insufficient heating, limited ventilation inside the property due to the cold conditions, persistent inclement weather raising moisture levels outside and multiple occupants creating moisture inside the property. External exposed walls and windows tend to exhibit symptoms like mould and mildew growth and wetness to the walls. Kitchens and bathrooms due to the nature of the use of the rooms will also experience issues more commonly. In our experience solving the issue is usually contributing factors which are part tenant lifestyle – not opening windows, cooking without extraction, showering without extractor fan and window opening, limiting air flow around furniture against particularly cold walls, drying wet clothes inside the property and part property factors such as compromised damp course, leaking gutters/downpipes or chimneys etc. In the first instance we ask that you clean the mold from the area with a light bleach solution, remove any of the above factors that may be contributors and monitor the progress with a photo diary over a period of time – here is a video with useful tips and advice – https://youtu.be/mZmHqjA1pog
Boiler pressure lost or frozen condensate pipes
It is not uncommon for condensate pipes on boilers to become frozen during very cold weather which will stop the boiler from working. Before reporting a problem with the heating just double check that the pipe is not frozen and watch this helpful video to walk you through troubleshooting the issue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEXamUQwwHg&feature=youtu.be Should a combi boiler lose pressure this will also prevent it from working. If your pressure reads at less than 1 bar, it’s possible that you have lost water from the system via a leak. If the pressure reads at 2.75 bar or above, you may need to bleed a radiator to release the pressure and bring it back down to a suitable level. If you attempt to bleed a radiator, you should make sure that you have a way of catching the water to prevent the walls or floor from being damaged. Take caution when undertaking this job as the water can be very hot. If you find a leak or suspect that you have one, you should report to us via Fixflo. It’s a good idea to check your boiler manual for instructions on how to re-pressurise your combi boiler, if you cannot find one at the property the internet usually has manuals available when searching for the boiler model online. Open the valves to allow cold water to enter the system, keeping an eye on the pressure gauge and when it reaches 1.5 bar close it again. This should result in your boiler firing up. Should the boiler still not work or you continue to experience drops in pressure report the issue to us.
Modern day consumer units are extremely sensitive to any electrical appliance or fixed wiring that is not safe and as a result of any fault in the system the consumer unit will shut down that system which may mean the whole property or a particular circuit going off. First turn trip switch back on at the main fuse board – it may have occurred due to a blown bulb so should come on and stay on right away. The bulb will need replacing at another time. If the electrics will not remain on and keeps tripping further investigation is needed, but before you call us or an electrician just spend a short amount of time trouble shooting yourself at the property. The issue could be related to an appliance that has shorted so turn off all appliances at the wall and then switch the electrics back on one by one. If the power remains on slowly and methodically turn on each appliance until you narrow down the defective appliance. Should this be a landlords own appliance and a repair contract exists report the issue via Fixflo.